The changing penetration of social media across the generations (graphs)

In preparation to speaking to advice nurses about social media, the wonderful Pew Internet & American Life Project, ( @pew_internet ) right on time, published exactly the data I was hoping to present.

I produced these graphs as part of the presentation (will publish the rest of the slides soon). Note that I did a few calculations to change the percentages of people using social media and twitter from “of all people online” to “of all people” – didn’t change the visual of the trend, in my opinion, however.

Enjoy, click to see larger versions.


Ted, just coming to this post from your more recent "Making Data Dance" post. I really like that your charts make this idea, that young early adopters of social networking drove adoption across all age groups, come to life. It is a theory that I plan to test next year around mental health.

I've done a similar research around social networking sites and the number of months it took them to reach one million users… The long story short is that Twitter, a service with a heavy initial population of people over 30, took twice as many months to reach one million users than Foursquare and Facebook, sites initially targeting people under 30.

Hi Chris,

You know I didn't even the driving adoption visual until you brought it up – I thought I was just showing changes by generation. Thanks for pointing it out! And thanks again to @SusannahFox for promoting use of the data she generates so that we can have these conversations. Looking forward to any insights you discover around behavioral/mental health,


Ted Eytan, MD